Artist Spotlight James Ayers

Artist Works

  • Warriors of the High Country

  • War Party Rides

  • Two Souls One Spirit

  • Blackfoot Reverenve

  • Union of Love

  • Whispers of the Anasazi

  • Biography

    My paintings are more than just a slice of Native American history. They are the result of years of research combined with personal exploration and observation. I study historic artifacts, research customs and rituals, and marry these with my understanding of the struggles of modern Native American cultures. Shortly after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1991, I began a pattern of traveling, living, and working with indigenous peoples worldwide that continues to the present day.
    Most of my paintings are fictionalized accounts of Native American lifeways rather than literal representations of specific events. Yet, I make sure that every facet of my work is historically correct — from the style of a man’s plaited hair to the weapons used and even the motifs which decorate tipis, clothing, and shields.

    Out of respect and honor for the people and cultures I paint, I strive to achieve the utmost honesty and authenticity I can attain. I have a belief that this authenticity provides a more poignant impression for the viewer.
    I get asked frequently if I am Native American. I am not.

    My ancestry is typical of most Americans and spans all corners of the globe. I was adopted as an infant by a Greek-American family in Boston and have African American, German, and Welsh roots.

    As a person with a multicultural background, I am deeply aware of the importance in accuracy when portraying a specific culture. I take great care to make sure the American Indian cultures I represent in my paintings are authentic and respectful–not only to the historical figures I paint, but also to the living descendants of these peoples.